Grand Park’s First New Year’s Eve

Happy new year! It’s 2014 and I am ready for new adventures to share. This year already started out pretty eventful with Grand Park’s first annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Organizers wanted to use Grand Park as a centralized location for those living in Los Angeles to celebrate together, similar to Times Square in New York City and other mass celebrations around the world. Thousands of people rolled out, many of them making use of Metro’s extended hours and free service between 9PM and 2AM. That’s what I did.

GrandParkNYELA

NYELACrowd

Food trucks lined the streets between the park levels, a beer garden provided drinks to those who wanted to get a little bit ratchet for the night, and art installations were scattered across the area. The latter was more interesting to me and there were some cool pieces like this neon LA/Heart sign.

NYELAHeartArt

There were also these hanging balls which I didn’t really think much of when I took the first picture other than that it looked pretty interesting. I walked around a bit afterwards and then got my mind blown much later than it should have been when I noticed that the balls came together to spell out “LA”. My mind was blown even further when I found out that on another side, the balls said “2014”. I’m not new to this kind of art (it’s similar to CSUN’s sculpture that I have driven past many times in the Valley), but it was still really cool and a big focal point for pictures throughout the night.

LA2014Balls

LABalls

2014Balls

Naturally, the fountain was another highlight for visitors. I think I’ve already mentioned it a couple times, but it is one of my favorite spots in the city. It was nice to see other people appreciate it too.

GrandParkFountainNYE

Throughout the night, there were various projections on City Hall. These projections also ended up as the focus for the countdown to 2014. During the final ten seconds of the year, the numbers were projected onto the building and the crowd counted along to ring in the new year. Once 2014 hit, the projections continued. There was one in particular that I liked which had “Happy New Year” spelled out in different languages, similar to the “Welcome” pillars at the park.

NYELAMetroRedLine

NYELAClockProjection

TwistedCityHallProjection

CityHallNYECountdown

HappyNewYearLanguages

Okay, so here is my critique of the event as someone who loves Los Angeles and really wants to see the city grow. Everything that happened from the few minutes prior to the countdown on was pretty anti-climactic and it seems like that was the general consensus of the people around me. I know that this is the first time that this event has been held, so I am just hoping that the organizers will continue to learn what works and what doesn’t and really transform this into a great annual event. I know that there were people expecting fireworks or at the very least confetti, but I don’t know if there are any city codes or whatnot preventing that from happening. There just needs to be something to keep the hype and momentum going because after the countdown happened and everyone greeted each other, I couldn’t help but think, “Now what?”

With that said, I still am really happy that I made it out. If in a couple decades, this event does turn out to be the West Coast’s answer to the Times Square ball drop, then I can say that I was there for the very first one.

NYELAInflatables

NYELACityHall2014

Well, here we go. First post of the new year. I have a good feeling about 2014.

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